P.S./M.S. 219 Paul Klapper

Dr. Paul Klapper (1885-1952) was the first president and guiding force behind the establishment of Queens College. Born in Romania, Klapper came to the U.S. with his parents as a child and enrolled at City College at the age of 14. After receiving his A.B. degree, he taught in the New York City public schools and at City College, eventually earning an M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. He became head of the education department at City College in 1917, and served as dean of the college from 1922 to 1937, when he was asked to lead the newly created Queens College.

Klapper personally selected the college’s first faculty, as well as the 400 students who enrolled in that first year. He led the college through its first decade, retiring in 1948. He then served as acting dean of teacher education for CUNY's five four-year colleges, and was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago from 1949 to 1951. He passed away in 1952 at the age of 66. Over the course of his career, Klapper also was a member of the board of trustees for The State University of New York, Brandeis University and The New York State Commission Against Discrimination. He received various honorary degrees from institutions including Yeshiva University, Columbia University and Queens College. His papers are housed in Queens College's Department of Special Collections and Archives.

P.S./M.S. 219, named in Dr. Klapper's honor, is a public school serving students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.


Paul Klapper Collection, Department of Special Collections and Archives, Queens College, City University of New York, https://qcarchives.libraryhost.com/resources/paul_klapper_papers

P.S./M.S. 219 Paul Klapper website, accessed October 2, 2022, https://www.psms219.org/